November 12th, 2004


Oh, Fallujah.

I could write a much longer post on this, but I'll stick to my basic impressions instead.

Fallujah: Many, many Iraqis dead, phosphorus shells being used on Iraqis, anonymous corpses with horrible burns, possible use of cluster bombs. Over 18 US soldiers killed so far, hundreds wounded, over 227 severely -- evac'ed to Germany. Nominal control of the roads, but no real control of the city. Elections more distant than ever. House-to-house searches still to come, possible enemies and boobytraps behind every door, a starving city as big as Pittsburgh. Angry Iraqis. Hopeless Iraqis. Iraqis with nothing left to lose. The wholescale slaughter of Iraqi police departments. Massive defections in both Iraqi police and military. Uprisings in major Iraqi cities. Months of progress in some regions destroyed overnight. Bombed mosques. The widescale stench of death. Iraqi men not allowed to leave. Boats, packed and fleeing, sunk by gunfire. Bodies floating down the Euphrates.

Winning the battle and losing the war.
  • Current Music
    Steve Roach -- Soul Light -- Texture Maps (2003) (Sleepbot Environmental Broadcast --- -- - love peace dream - -- ---)

A letter from Fallujah.

I'm reposting the text of this letter, written by a combat medic who has just returned from Fallujah.

I was going to write an entry about this, but it left me before I could. This is a very personal letter, but I feel the need to share, everyone should know. Feel free to re-post

- - -,

Thank you for that passage. It really was beautiful in its imagery. I kinda needed to hear something reassuring and that was very timely.

I just have come back from Fallujah. I volunteered for that mission and let me tell you, that I think i will be a pacifist fopr the rest of my life. The carnage and destruction that just builds on itself is staggering. It's a like a free-for-all for everyone. Buildings gutted and trees splintered. Sharp sounds of gunfire rapping like some loud morse code. The assaults themselves feel very organized however, and almost seems like an unfair match as the enemy is always retreating and firing.

Hah. The enemy, who is the enemy? The enemy is just other people. Mostly is people who are seeing their way of life destroyed and have no one left to live for, no job left to work at, no family to protect. They are always young men and when captured talk as if all hope has left them, as if life itself was so meaningless that they choose to play the Russian Roulette that fighting against the Marines really is.

The assault itself was to the East of us and we were (among others) the flanking diversionary tactic. We got the initial fire and mortars as the main force sweeps through the city. It's very noisy. Tanks and armored trucks. Sporadic fire after the curfew and whenever the main force encounters a defensive position. We got our own share of scares and I shot my weapon to kill for the second time in my life. The thought of that itself really chills my blood. I have different values than that, but when things are extreme, I guess your true values come out and mine is that I value my own life over anyone else's. In my own defense, I was thinking about home and the other soldiers with me as we got pinned down by indirect fire. Then, surprinsingly, I thought of nothing. My mind was blank as I could never get it and it was the closest thing I ever experienced to a mental blank slate. Funny, isn't?

I came back really dirty and it started raining on the way back. On our stop in Camp Kalsu we all got out and re-fueled our vehicles. The rain soaked us and it felt good but cold. I didn't care that it was cold, it was like taking a shower after something dirty has touched you. I smoked a cigarette too and I don't even smoke.

I dunno how this letter for thanks turned into this. All I can say is that your passage inspired me to download some of the words that have been plaguing me for the past few hours. If you don't mind, I'll post this as my entry. But, really thank you.


>From: (deleted)
>Subject: (no subject)
>Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 13:18:48 EST
>For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower
>falls, and its beauty perishes. So will the rich man fade away in the midst
>of his pursuits. Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood
>the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who
>love him.
>James 1:11-12

Cultural insensitivity.

Want to antagonize a billion people?

Yeah. That about does it. So goeth Fallujah.

For those Christians out there, let me sum this picture up in equivalent cultural terms. Imagine if you saw a picture of 100 Islamic terrorists inside a heavily damaged church in America. The stained glass windows were shattered, bibles, pews, and crosses were stacked into a cherry, glowing bonfire, and Zarqawi was off in the corner, pissing in the holy water.

New enemies made today: